Hourglass (James Taylor album)

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Studio album by James Taylor
Released May 20, 1997
Recorded December 1996
Chalker's Creek, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Westlake Audio, West Hollywood, California
Right Track Studios, New York City
Genre Rock, folk, country pop
Length 51:51
Label Columbia
Producer Frank Filipetti
James Taylor
James Taylor chronology
Greatest Hits Volume 2
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
MusicHound 3.5/5[2]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[4]

Hourglass is singer-songwriter James Taylor's fourteenth studio album. Taylor's first studio album in six years was released in 1997 to glowing notices.[citation needed] It built upon the success of his previous effort, New Moon Shine.

Hourglass was an introspective album that earned Taylor his best critical reviews in almost twenty years. The album's lyrics focused largely on Taylor's troubled past and family. "Jump Up Behind Me" paid tribute to his father's rescue of him after The Flying Machine days, and the long drive from New York City back to his home in Chapel Hill.[5] "Enough to Be On Your Way" was inspired by the alcoholism-related death of his brother Alex earlier in the decade.[6] The themes were also inspired by Taylor's divorce from actress Kathryn Walker, which took place in 1996.[7] Rolling Stone found that "one of the themes of this record is disbelief", while Taylor told the magazine that it was "spirituals for agnostics."[8] Critics embraced the dark themes on the album, and Hourglass was a huge commercial success, reaching #9 on the Billboard 200 (Taylor's first Top 10 album in sixteen years) and also provided a big adult contemporary hit on "Little More Time With You". The album also gave Taylor his first Grammy since JT, when he was honored with Best Pop Album in 1998.

There is an Enhanced CD version of the album containing interviews, photos, and videos.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by James Taylor unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Line 'Em Up" – 4:45
  2. "Enough to Be on Your Way" – 5:29
  3. "Little More Time with You" – 3:53
  4. "Gaia" – 5:32
  5. "Ananas" – 5:45
  6. "Jump Up Behind Me" – 3:30
  7. "Another Day" – 2:23
  8. "Up Er Mei" – 3:49
  9. "Up from Your Life" – 5:17
  10. "Yellow and Rose" – 4:55
  11. "Boatman" (Livingston Taylor, M. Taylor) – 3:59
  12. "Walking My Baby Back Home" (Fred E. Ahlert, Roy Turk) – 2:27
  13. "Hangnail" (also known as "Money O Money") – 2:24 [hidden "bonus" track]



  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 1125. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ "James Taylor: Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on January 5, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 
  5. ^ White, Long Ago and Far Away, p. 318.
  6. ^ White, Long Ago and Far Away, p. 306.
  7. ^ White, Long Ago and Far Away, p. 301.
  8. ^ "In 'Up From Your Life,' you sing, 'For an unbeliever like you/ There's not much they can do.' In 'Gaia,' you call yourself a 'poor, wretched unbeliever.'" Interview, Rolling Stone, June 24, 1997.